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Ask Damian Erskine - Page 3

Am I Too Old To Start a Career as a Session Bassist?

Am I Too Old To Start a Career as a Session Bassist?

Q: I’m 58 and a semi-pro bassist (I have a day job but have gigged for the past 30+ years and consider myself a very good player). I wanted to ask your thoughts on me trying to focus on becoming a session musician. I’m semi-retired and have a lot more time on my hands but have less interest in trying...

Choosing a Direction: Focusing on Your Approach to Bass and Music

Choosing a Direction: Focusing on Your Approach to Bass and Music

Q: I am an intermediate bass player and I am a fan of several different bass players. I love the way Janek Gwizdala composes, plays chords and creates music using a looper. I can’t get enough of Gary Willis and his amazing groove as well as his fretless tone. I also love listening to guys like Sean Hurley and Jonathan...

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Connecting to Music or a Brand: Spotify vs Apple

Connecting to Music or a Brand: Spotify vs Apple

For this week’s column, I asked a good friend and frequent band-mate – Seattle-based drummer Tarik Abouzied – to give his unique perspective into Spotify (and the streaming model, in general). Tarik had written a column in my stead here at No Treble once before regarding bass playing from the drummers perspective and everybody loved his insights. Tarik writes quite...

Exercise For Unlocking The Fretboard

Exercise For Unlocking The Fretboard

In this video, we’ll work through a great pattern that I learned from the great trombonist Dave Glen. It’s a fantastic way to make the transition between scales and arpeggios and also helps you to relate them more naturally to different chord types. I found this very useful when I first heard Dave talking about it and I think you...

Licks and Fills from Right Hand Drive

Licks and Fills from Right Hand Drive

In this video from the road, I decided to respond to an email requesting some contextual examples of how I might use a few of the “licks and fills” from my book, Right Hand Drive. After a handful of technical difficulties and the majority of my day off spent filming in a hotel room, I present to you… Real world...

Using an Active/Passive Toggle on Your Bass

Using an Active/Passive Toggle on Your Bass

Q: I’ve got a toggle on my bass for passive and active. I hardly use it. Could you explain the benefits and drawbacks of each? Do you ever toggle during a gig? Thanks! A: I’ve more recently become more enamored with the sound of my basses in passive mode. For me, it partially reflects a change in my stylistic preferences,...

The Plucking Pinky: A Lesson for Bass Players

The Plucking Pinky: A Lesson for Bass Players

In this video, we’ll take a quick look at the usefulness of one of the lesser used fingers… the plucking hand’s pinky!

Walking Bass Line Construction

Walking Bass Line Construction

In this video, I’ll talk you through the basics of developing a walking bass line in addition to demonstrating a few approaches. There’s also a nice exercise at the end that’ll really challenge most of you as you explore new ways to navigate chord changes. Enjoy! Follow along with this chord chart I used in this lesson.

Intervallic Exploration for Bass

Intervallic Exploration for Bass

This week, we’re diving into the topic of getting to know (and map out across the fretboard) every interval on the bass. We’ll also focus on ways to try and turn them into licks and melodic patterns that you probably wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

Setting Up Your Bass: String Height, Intonation, and More

Setting Up Your Bass: String Height, Intonation, and More

We’re switching things up for this column: with some talk on setting up your bass. In this video, I show you how I go about changing my strings, adjusting my string height, and tweaking my intonation at the bridge.